Troubleshooting Tips to Overcome Common Quick Bread Problems
14 Tips To Common Quick Bread Problems
Baking quick breads is easy, fast and almost "idiot" proof. However, as easy and versatile as it is, you may still encounter some baking problems.
Luckily, these problems are avoidable once you understand the causes. Here are some tips to help you overcome these problems.
1. Quick bread cracks in the center
This is a very common quick bread problem which cannot really be prevented. It's part of the nature of quick breads because they contain less gluten, which reduces its ability to rise evenly. Rather than looking at the crack as a problem, take advantage of it and glaze the quick bread with some homemade icing or dust with confectioners' sugar.
2. Quick bread is heavy3.Fruits, nuts or vegetables sink to the bottom
This problem is more often present in quick breads with fruits, nuts and vegetables. Reduce using extra amounts of fruits, nuts or vegetables. Also, chop or shred fruits, nuts or vegetables before you start mixing all the ingredients. If you start mixing, and then stop to chop, the batter may get too stiff making the bread heavy.
To minimize this quick bread problem, dust the nuts, fruits or vegetables with a tablespoon of the flour used in the recipe before adding to the mixture. This helps to keep the heavy ingredients from sinking to the bottom of the quick bread.
4. Quick bread has tunnels and voids
This is another symptom of over mixing. Over mixing develops gluten. To avoid the problem, use a spoon to mix using light strokes instead of an electric mixer until the mixture is just combined. The mixture should have small lumps. Don't worry about the lumps, they will disappear during baking.
5. Quick bread looks done on the outside but is still raw in the inside
Two factors can cause this problem. First, the oven temperature is too high. Purchase a thermometer for inside the oven to check the actual temperature to minimize the problem. You may need to have your oven re-calibrated. Second, the size of baking pan is different from what the recipe calls for. Often we use the same quick bread recipe to make muffins, loaves and cakes. However, each size requires slightly different baking times, and sometimes, different baking temperatures. The larger and thicker the loaf, the longer it takes to bake. If you are using a different size pan than your recipe calls for, adjust the baking time accordingly and check the quick bread often.
6. Quick bread is dry
Few factors can cause this quick bread problem ie. too much flour or leavening (baking soda/baking powder), too much sugar or over-baking. In the case of over-baking, the oven temperature may be too high and/or the baking time may be too long.
7. Quick bread is tough
Over mixing causes quick breads to toughen, and occasionally high oven temperature. What you want is tender crumb. Use a spoon to mix the ingredients with light strokes until the mixture is just combined. The lumps in the mixture will disappear during baking.
8. Quick bread is coarse and crumbly
Quick breads by nature should be moist and dense. If your quick bread is coarse or crumbly, reduce on the fat or leavening (baking powder/baking soda).
9. Quick bread rises unevenly
Few factors can cause this quick bread problem. The oven rack is not level, the baking pan is warped or bent, or the baking pan is not placed in the center of the oven where the heat is most even. Also, it may be caused by baking the quick bread at a wrong temperature. If the oven is too cool or too hot, purchase a thermometer for inside the oven to check the actual temperature. You may need to have your oven re-calibrated.
10. Quick bread falls and sinks in the center11. Quick bread is soggy
Few factors can cause this common problem. First, the quick bread is under-baked because the oven temperature is too low and/or the baking time is too short. Second, the leavening (baking powder and baking soda) has expired. Third, the wooden pick or cake tester is inserted too early before the quick bread has sufficiently set and finally, because the quick bread was moved or shaken before it has sufficiently baked.
Many factors can cause this problem. First, the batter is left too long before baking. Second, there is too much liquid and not enough leavening. Third, the quick bread is under-baked because the oven temperature is too low and/or the baking time is too short.
12. Quick bread has a sticky top crust
The main factors that can cause this problem is the quick bread was stored while still warm, the liquid was over measured, the bread was under-baked ie. the oven temperature was too low and/or the baking time was too short and the air humidity was too high.
13.Quick bread has uneven browning
Uneven heat circulation in the oven or baking pans placed too close together in the oven can cause uneven browning.
14. Quick bread has crispy edges
Main factors that cause the crispy edges are too much fat or too much fat and sugar used.
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For more tips to overcome quick bread problems and other baking problems, click here.